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Flashback to 1993: Catching up with Mandy Scott

Tue, 30 October 2012

In 1993 Mandy Scott of AA Flags was in the Northern Region Final of the Shell LiveWIRE Awards.
In this flag-waving year of Jubilee celebrations and the London Olympics and Paralympics, we caught up with Mandy Scott to find out how business is going…

What can you remember about your involvement with Shell LiveWIRE?
I recall my involvement with LiveWIRE being an exciting time. There was lots of free publicity, the organisers were very encouraging and enthusiastic about my business idea, and it gave me confidence to progress.

How have things changed for you since you won your Shell LiveWIRE award?
Things have changed since 1993, when I suppose my business was a ‘cottage industry’ working from home. Now we have expanded into a large industrial unit and we employ 16 staff.  The company is now a Limited company, making substantial profits, enough that we have invested in several other enterprises.
Mandy Scott Scan

How have you had to adapt as an entrepreneur over the years?
Adapting as an entrepreneur has been an easy transition for me, it comes gradually. After 18 years I’m still not a ‘networker’ like some businesswomen, I would rather get stuck into work.  My friends say I haven’t changed as a person because of my success, I remain grounded, although my business counsellor insists my feet are planted firmly in the clouds! Well behaved women rarely make history, he says.

What has been the biggest obstacle you have overcome in business?
The biggest obstacle I have overcome is employing staff. It’s difficult as a young person to instruct older people how you would like a certain job to be carried out. “Don’t tell ya granny how to suck eggs” is a good Northern term that describes it well. Be polite, ask rather than‘tell’, and thank staff when they have done a good job.

What are your top tips for a young entrepreneur about to set up in business?
1. Take off your blinkers, you might think your idea is a good one, but LISTEN to the free advice that’s available out there.
2. Small is beautiful, walk before you can run.
3.  When you stop enjoying what you’re doing, change it. Life is too short for stress, keep a tight financial control on your finances so you don’t have to worry about cash flow.
4.  Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go!

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